Gor Mahia refuses to sign onto Betking sponsorship

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier is suspicious of Betking’s sponsorship deal with the FKF and wants to scrutinize the deal first.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Controversy continues to surround the BetKing sponsorship announced by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) after two clubs declined to sign an undertaking to receive an initial Sh500,000 released on Friday as part of the annual grants.

Record Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia and Kakamega Homeboyz didn’t append their signatures on necessary documents to receive the cash which has already been sent to 15 Kenyan Premier League clubs.

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier said he has to scrutinise the original sponsorship documents before making a decision.

Rachier revealed that he will be heading to the FKF Goal Project offices on Monday to thoroughly and keenly study the BetKing sponsorship contract and seek answers on how it will affect their operations with Betsafe which recently sponsored K’Ogalo to the tune of Sh55 million.

This is because the two companies are rivals and there maybe conflict of interest in their operations.

“What was brought to us in our meeting was just highlights on the amount, commission and the percentage that should go to the agent Andrea Silva. I have to know the impact of the contract on our relations with Betsafe,” he said.

“I will be heading to their offices on Monday to thoroughly scrutinise it and if all my questions are not answered then I won’t sign,” he added.

K’Ogalo have made it known that they won’t settle for a lower sponsorship package that will affect their current partnership with Betsafe.

Kakamega Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula also poked holes in the BetKing sponsorship saying he will not be party to it since it lacks credibility.

“I won’t sign any document for my club to receive initial Sh500,000 because these are just tactics being used by (FKF President Nick) Mwendwa to be re-elected,” he said.

Meanwhile Tusker chairman Dan Aduda has said the five-member committee formed to oversee KPL’s transition to FKF Premier league said they will also scrutinise the details of the sponsorship deal to verify its credibility and not just rubber stamp it.

The committee is headed by Ulinzi Stars chairman Eric Oloo. Other members are Dan Shikanda (AFC Leopards), Ken Ochieng (Zoo), Robert Maoga (Kariobangi Sharks) and Tusker’s Aduda.


Gor Mahia officials accused of pocketing Ksh 15 million

Story from goal.com

Betting firm BetKing is contemplating taking action against Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants Gor Mahia for declining a deal with them despite, allegedly, accepting a KSh15 million downpayment.

The new KPL sponsors were keen on sponsoring K’Ogalo and had reportedly agreed on a KSh30M annual sponsorship deal

Weeks ago, K’Ogalo announced another betting firm Betsafe as their shirt sponsors in a three-year-deal starting in the 2020/21 season. According to the details of the deal, Gor Mahia will get KSh55 million per year from the organization.

“They have a new sponsor but it is going to put them in trouble soon,” a senior source revealed to Goal on Thursday.

“The company [BetKing] were keen on sponsoring the team; it was on a Ksh30 million deal and everything had been agreed, and the downpayment already made. We were shocked by their last-minute change and the unveiling of our competitors.”

Reportedly, the KSh15 million was wired in a different account with a local bank, where only three officials from the club are signatories. It is a move which has raised eyebrows considering the fact that Gor Mahia have an active bank account.

As opposed to BetKing, Betsafe paid Gor Mahia Ksh5 million as downpayment, with another amount set to hit K’Ogalo accounts in a couple of weeks.

When reached for comment, Gor Mahia Secretary-General Ronald Ngala had a different version.

“We signed a deal with our kit manufacturer Umbro who promised to bring an unnamed shirt sponsor,” Ngala told Goal.

“There was no contact, no deal signed or any deal involving BetKing with Gor Mahia. Somethings we are reading are not true since Umbro had not revealed the shirt sponsors they were bringing on board.

“We went on with our search for a new sponsor and Betsafe agreed to come on board. That is when we came to understand Umbro had intentions of bringing on board BetKing who they are partnering with.”

And what about the downpayment?

“We did not receive the purported KSh15 million as reported but half the amount which was from Umbro,” Ngala continued.

“The monies were wired to the Gor Mahia accounts, the alleged account… does not exist… We only have one account, and it belongs to the club, Gor Mahia.”


Gor Mahia lose Crown Beverages sponsorship


Gor Mahia’s secondary sponsor, Crown Beverages have pulled out. According to Chairman Ambrose Rachier, financial circumstances have forced Crown to pull the plug.

“Crown have written to us terminating the deal we signed last year because they are experiencing some financial difficulties.” said Rachier according to goal.com

The sponsorship was worth Ksh 50 million It was signed in March of 2016 and was to last from 2016 to 2019. The deal saw the Crown logo emblazoned on Gor Mahia jersey sleeves.

“We have no option but to understand their position and we appreciate and thank them for the one year we have worked with them. It is our hope they will one day come back and work with us” continued Rachier.


List of FKF rules to combat hooliganism

On Tuesday, FKF announced new rules aimed at combating hooliganism in Kenyan stadia.

• An independent Committee involving key stakeholders will be formed to handle all matches involving Gor Mahia FC and AFC Leopards SC. That these two clubs will no longer appoint security stewards for their matches

• That a player or team official who by their actions is deemed to cause or aggravate crowd trouble or incite fans, players or team officials to actions that could lead to crowd trouble, match disruption or abandonment will be banned for four matches and incur a fine of Kshs 20,000 for the first offence.

A repeat offender will be banned for three hundred and sixty five days (365).

• Any player or team official who attacks or attempts to attack a match official will be suspended for three hundred and sixty five days (365 days). The team that the player plays for will be liable for any and all damages caused to the match official(s).

• That the club whose players or fans are liable for causing the abandonment of a match will;

a) Lose the match on a 2-0, three point basis.

b) Be deducted six points

c) Will play its next home match in an empty stadium. In the event that the team repeats the offence it will be deducted six points and play its next consecutive three matches in an empty stadium. If the team commits the offence for a third time it will be relegated to a lower league and will be fined Five hundred thousand shillings (Kshs 500,000)

• That a spectator who causes a fight or incites crowd violence will be banned from attending all football matches in the country. It will be the responsibility of the team that he/she supports to ensure that the spectator is denied entry. If a club is found guilty of not enforcing this rule the Federation will take appropriate action against the club. This action could be a fine, playing home matches in empty stadiums or deduction of points.

• If a supporter of a particular team invades the field of play with an intention to cause violence on players or match officials, the club that he supports will be fined Kshs 100,000 and play three of its consecutive home matches in an empty stadium.

• These rules will be form the basis of far reaching regulations aimed at tackling the escalating vice of hooliganism and violence in our football. The rules will come into force immediately.

Ngala dismisses new rules

Gor Mahia official Ronald Ngala is unhappy that FKF is comparing Gor Mahia to AFC yet the incident with AFC fans in Mumias was much worse.

“The latest incident was only brought to light after what happened in Mumias and now people are trying to compare us with AFC Leopards yet  the incidences involved in our match was not that bad.” said Ngala to goal.com

Ngala also says that they have not officially heard from sportpesa.

“As a club we have not received any communication from the sponsors about the suspension nor have they engaged us before taking such action,” Ngala told goal.com

Seriousness needed

Ngala and other officials would be best advised to take seriously the threat from sportpesa and reach out to the sponsors. In addition to the rules outlined by FKF, the club should condemn the actions of hooligans and outline the steps it will take.

A suggested by this column several months ago, a portion of the sponsorship money should be spent on beefing up security for both home and away games. There is no reason a fan should have been allowed to accost the referee in the manner he did in front of TV and newspaper cameras.

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri for his part has said that the sponsorship will be re-instated when the clubs meet specific conditions set by Sportpesa.

“We have summoned the officials of the teams to meet within the week and we will reinstate this sponsorship once we are satisfied that actions are being taken to curb this vice that has gripped football.

Sponsors will not just sit back and watch as our brand is tarnished. I think we have done so much to enhance security but all these will be in vain if the teams cannot control the fans” said Karauri at the presser

Gor Mahia will therefore need to work diligently and show a higher level of seriousness if they want the sponsorship re-instated soon.


Video: Gor Mahia signed kit contract

Gor Mahia have secured a Sh15 million sponsorship deal with Italian apparel manufacturers, Legea.

“Talks have been ongoing for weeks and a deal is in the pipeline but I can’t say how close we are to an agreement but its true we have been engaging Legea apparel,” said Gor organising secretary David Kiilo to the Star Newspaper.

According to the agreement, Gor Mahia will wear the branded kit for four years. Gor senior vice chairman Erick Wasuna confirmed the club had signed the deal last week and they expect delivery of first consignment in first two weeks of March.

“It feels exciting that this could be one of the best kit sponsorship package that is expected to bring quality products to a quality team like Gor Mahia— a team that has exemplified the true spirit of success both at home and away,” said Hector.

In the video, Chairman Rachier explains that the club will take steps to ensure counterfeiters no longer sale Gor Mahia jerseys


Joint sponsorship makes sense for the big two

Various reports have indicated that British betting company Betway is in the midst of finalizing a deal to sponsor both Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. It is the same company that sponsors West Ham United in the English premier league to the tune of West Ham £20m over three and a half years. Betway  is eager to make inroads into the Kenyan sports scene where sports betting has suddenly become fashionable.

In Tanzania a similar situation was in existence for years as the two big clubs, Simba and Yanga were both sponsored by Kilimanjaro Premium Lager Brand. What this does is that it shields the Kilimanjaro Brand from resentment from one group of fans. By sponsoring both teams, the Kilimanjaro Brand can obtain support from both Simba and Yanga fans.

In Kenya the same situation pertains. Sponsoring both teams together shields the two teams from the political intrigues that hinder sponsorship in Kenya.

The deal is supposed to be announced next week. However there are reports that Sportpesa approached a faction of AFC officials and agreed to a different deal while other AFC officials complained that they were not consulted.

A report from mediamaxnetwork suggests that AFC officials claimed that Betway have pledged Sh30 million in sponsorship for three years which will be extended on mutual agreement with a 10 per cent annual increase, while SportPesa are ready to dole out a similar amount for a five-year period but with strings attached. Among other things, Sportpesa want AFC officials to accept that the betting firm hire their own accountant to audit the cash that will trickle into the team after the deal.  Additional reports from goal.com suggests that sportpesa presented both AFC and Gor Mahia with similar deals.

If this is true then it becomes incumbent for officials of both teams to work together for the sake of the clubs. Selfish vested interests or incompetence from one set of officials could derail a deal for both clubs and leave both clubs sponsor-less for more years to come.


EABL offers fans a chance to finance KPL teams

East Africa Breweries have offered fans of Kenya Premier league teams as well as Kenya cup rugby teams a chance to finance their teams to the tune of up to KES 5 million by the end of this year.

According to the East Africa Standard, EABL have created a competition dubbed Jenga Game allows fans who take Tusker to contribute Sh2 to their clubs every time they consume their preferred drinks. East African Breweries Limited (EABL), who are the title sponsors of the league, will also top up the amount of money going to teams. Fans will be able to contribute money to their preferred teams by sending their teams’ code to the number 21450. All the 16 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs have been given a code to help fans easily identify with their teams. The standard report did not give information on what the specific codes for each club is.

An excited Tusker marketing manager Martin Esyalai made the announcement.

“ Tusker has played a major role in the development of football and rugby, which have provided memorable moments for Kenyans. “Our brand is synonymous with the good times these iconic players have given us and it’s only appropriate that they are the face of Twende Game,” said Esyalai to the Standard.
Former Gor Mahia full back Tobias Ocholla has been selected to promote the competition along with other legends like Josphat Murila (formely of AFC), George Sunguti  who played for AFC and later joined Gor Mahia in the early 1990s and Lavin Asego who plays rugby for Mwamba and formerly with the Kenya sevens team.
Gor Mahia typically leads in these competitions and it will be disappointing if the club does not win this time. So next time you buy crates of beer for your party, remember to apply this code.
The last time such a promotion was mooted was in 2012 when the Nation group launched the Tokelezea na jalee where nation would sell jackets and give Gor Mahia a fraction of the proceeds. The deal fell through because the then sponsors Tuzo were unhappy that the merchandize being sold by the club did not have the Tuzo logo.